OCN course helped me get over my anxiety problems

Maghaberry inmate gives his personal experience of taking part in the TFY MensSana Prison education project.

Together for You MensSana Prison education project delivers accredited OCN Programmes to inmates in Hydebank and Maghaberry. 

To date a total of 319 OCN Level 1 and 2 Certificates have been achieved.

The programmes are designed to improve mental and emotional wellbeing and delivered in a context that takes into consideration the Prison environment, multi learning styles and personal barriers to engagement. The Open College Network courses can be accredited as individual awards in each topic or an overall certificate in Personal Well-being.

At the core of the project are the 5 ways to Wellbeing, ConnectBe activeTake NoticeKeep Learning, and Give; how these can translate positively within the natural daily regime and obstacles a prison setting can pose and  in turn integrate into the  Learners transitional period of rehabilitation.

Hear what one prisoner has to say about the course:

"I wasn’t sure about the course before it started. I thought ‘oh no it’s going to be a lecture or just like school’. But I was wrong, the course was really helpful. I have a social anxiety disorder, but the way the course is designed helped me to feel comfortable with all the guys doing it, and the teacher.

It’s not all writing and hard work, it’s split 50/50 with fun social games and filling in a booklet which helps you with all types of emotions and feelings. The course helps you understand how the emotions and feelings develop and how to counteract them or control them. It is fun and exciting at times, but really gets you thinking about what problems or what skills you have. It helped me to get to know people and get over my anxiety problems. Highly recommended”

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